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Communication apparatus, communication system, and method and program for judging reservation acceptance


Title: Communication apparatus, communication system, and method and program for judging reservation acceptance.
Abstract: A communication apparatus of the present invention is a communication apparatus which accepts a resource reservation, and includes at least a resource reservation acceptance judging portion for accepting a resource reservation request from a communication apparatus which performs a resource reservation. The resource reservation acceptance judging portion performs acceptance of a reservation based on a resource use probability obtained from a resource reservation state and a resource use state of an own communication apparatus of at least one of the communication apparatuses which perform resource reservations. ...



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USPTO Applicaton #: #20090135776 - Class: 370329 (USPTO) - 05/28/09 - Class 370 
Inventors: Toshiyuki Sashihara

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20090135776, Communication apparatus, communication system, and method and program for judging reservation acceptance.

This application is based upon and claims the benefit of priority from Japanese patent application No. 2007-305202, filed on Nov. 27, 2007, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

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1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an apparatus and a system for performing a reservation of a communication resource.

2. Description of Related Art

In a conventional wireless local area network (LAN), a mobile station could not reserve a resource to an access point of a handover destination in advance before performing a handover from a current access point which a mobile station is currently using to another access point. Here, a resource represents, for example, power used according to a communication rate, a memory capacity, a frequency band, or a communication rate itself. Therefore, when a handover occurs, if an access point of a handover destination cannot secure a resource necessary to maintain a communication, a handover fails.

However, due to the IEEE (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) 802.11r standard, even in a wireless LAN, it is possible to reserve a communication resource to an access point in advance before a handover. As a result, the handover fail probability is decreased.

A handover specified in the IEEE 802.11r standard (Draft 7.0) will be described below with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a wireless LAN system. The wireless LAN system of FIG. 1 includes a mobile station 111, a plurality of access points 101 to 107 to which the mobile station 111 have access by a wireless communication, and an authentication server 131 which performs authentication that the mobile station 111 is a mobile station authorized to access a network of a mobility domain, and the access points 101 to 107 and the authentication server 131 are connected via a wire line network.

FIG. 2 is a sequence diagram illustrating a handover sequence specified in the IEEE 802.11r standard (Draft 7.0). It is assumed that the mobile station 111 is under control of the access point 103, is communicating with the access point 103 and is moving toward the access point 104 as shown in FIG. 1. At this time, in order to reserve a resource to the access point 104 in advance, the mobile station 111 first transmits an 802.11 Authentication Request (201). The access point 104 replies an 802.11 Authentication Response to the mobile station 111 (202). After receiving the frame, the mobile station 111 transmits an 802.11 Authentication Confirm frame which contains information such as a request resource capacity such as a mean data rate, a minimum data rate and a peak data rate (203). The access point 104 replies an 802.11 Authentication ACK frame which contains an answer for representing whether to accept a resource reservation or not (204).

If a resource request of the mobile station is accepted, frame exchange for an advance reservation is finished, but if a resource request of the mobile station is not accepted, the mobile station can change a desired resource capacity and then retry to request a resource reservation to the access point 104. Thereafter, if the mobile station issues a Reassociation Request 205 till a Reassociation Deadline indicated in an Authentication ACK frame notified from an access point during a Fast BSS Transition Initial Mobility Domain Association to be performed with an access point existing when the mobile station 111 enters a mobility domain 141 for the first time, a resource reserved through the 802.11 Authentication Confirm frame 203 becomes effective, so that the mobile station 111 can communicate with the access point 104 by using the resource (e.g., see, IEEE 802.11r standard, Draft 7.0, July 2007, Section 11A 6, Pages 61 to 67). The access point 104 transmits a Reassociation Response 206 in response to the Reassociation Request 205.

In Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open (JP-A) No. 2004-266713 (pages 4 to 9), disclosed is a technique that, while performing a handover, a mobile station performs a reservation directly or through another base station to as many base stations as the number of reservation base stations determined based on a priority unique to a mobile station. If a mobile station requests a reservation directly to a base station, a mobile station individually transmits reservation information to as many base stations as the number of base stations. If another base station is used, a mobile station transmits reservation information containing the number of reservation base stations to a base station with which it is communicating, and the base station which has received the reservation information selects as many neighboring base stations as the number of reservation base stations and transmits the reservation information to them. Each base station which has received a reservation request directly from a mobile station or through another base station compares a resource capacity requested by a mobile station to its available resource capacity, and accepts a reservation if an available resource capacity is equal to or more than a request resource capacity and rejects a reservation receipt if an available resource capacity is less than a request resource capacity.

SUMMARY

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However, in a mobile communication system disclosed in JP-A No. 2004-266713 (pages 4 to 9), a base station judges whether to accept a resource reservation or not by comparing a request resource capacity of a mobile station to its available resource capacity. A mobile station hands over to a single base station among a plurality of reserved base stations, and whether to accept a reservation or not is judged by comparing an available resource capacity of a single base station to a request resource capacity. Since a resource capacity which other mobile stations can reserve or use is decreased by a resource capacity for which a reservation is made, if a certain mobile station reserves resources of a plurality of base stations, the number of mobile stations which can request a resource reservation to a base station is decreased or the number of base stations to which a mobile station can request a reservation is decreased, whereby there is a problem in that a resource reservation cannot be effectively made.

Therefore, the present invention is devised to resolve the above problems, and it is an object of the present invention to provide a communication system, a communication apparatus, a method, and a program which can efficiently make a resource reservation.

In order to achieve the above object, the present invention has the following features.

In order to achieve the above object, the present invention provides a communication apparatus which accepts a resource reservation, including: at least a resource reservation acceptance judging portion for accepting a resource reservation request from a communication apparatus which performs a resource reservation, wherein the resource reservation acceptance judging portion performs acceptance of a reservation based on a resource use probability obtained from a resource reservation state and a resource use state of an own communication apparatus of at least one of the communication apparatuses which perform resource reservations.

In order to achieve the above object, the present invention also provides a communication system, including: at least one communication apparatus which performs a resource reservation; and at least one communication apparatus which accepts a resource reservation, wherein the communication apparatus which accepts a resource reservation performs acceptance of a reservation based on a resource use probability obtained from a resource reservation state and a resource use state of an own communication apparatus of at least one of communication apparatuses which perform resource reservations.

In order to achieve the above object, the present invention also provides a method for judging acceptance of a resource reservation in a communication apparatus which accepts a reservation, including: judging acceptance of a reservation based on a resource use probability obtained from a resource reservation state and a resource use state of an own communication apparatus of a communication apparatus which performs a resource reservation.

In order to achieve the above object, the present invention also provides a method for judging acceptance of a reservation in a communication system which includes at least one communication apparatus which performs a resource reservation, and at least one communication apparatus which accepts a resource reservation, the method comprising: judging acceptance of a reservation based on a resource use probability obtained from a resource reservation state and a resource use state of an own communication apparatus of a communication apparatus which performs a resource reservation.

In order to achieve the above object, the present invention also provides a program for executing processing in an information processing apparatus, including: executing reservation acceptance processing of a resource of a communication apparatus which accepts a reservation, based on a resource use probability obtained from a resource reservation state and a resource use state of an own communication apparatus of a communication apparatus which performs a resource reservation to the information processing apparatus.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a wireless LAN system;

FIG. 2 is a sequence diagram of a handover specified in the IEEE 802.11r standard (Draft 7.0);

FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a structure of the access points 101 to 107 according to a first exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 shows one example of a resource management table stored in a resource management database 313 according to the first exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 shows one example of a resource reservation/use history table stored in a resource reservation/use history database 314 according to the first exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of a resource reservation acceptance judging means 311 according to the first exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of resource reservation/use history database probability acquisition processing in the resource reservation acceptance judging means 311 according to the first exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of resource reservation/use history table update processing in the resource reservation acceptance judging means 311 according to the first exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of a resource management means 312 according to the first exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of the resource reservation acceptance judging means 311 according to a second exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 shows one example of a resource reservation acceptance probability table according to the second exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of the resource reservation acceptance judging means 311 according to a third exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a flowchart illustrating one example of use resource computation processing according to the third exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of the resource reservation acceptance judging means 311 according to a fourth exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 15 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of resource reservation/use history database probability acquisition processing according to a fifth exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 16 shows one example of a resource reservation/use history table according to a sixth exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 17 is a flowchart illustrating operation of resource reservation/use history database probability acquisition processing according to the sixth exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 18 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of access points 101 to 107 according to a seventh exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 19 shows one example of a reservation threshold table contained in a threshold database 401 according to the seventh exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 20 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of the resource reservation acceptance judging means 311 according to the seventh exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 21 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of the access points 101 to 107 according to an eighth exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 22 shows one example of a resource reservation/use history table contained in a resource reservation/use history database 314 according to the eighth exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 23 shows one example of a communication rate table contained in a communication rate database 502 according to the eighth exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 24 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of resource reservation/use history table update processing according to the eighth exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 25 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of the resource management means 312 according to the eighth exemplary embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 26 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of resource reservation/use history database probability acquisition processing according to a ninth exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT First Exemplary Embodiment

In a first exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a communication apparatus which accepts a resource reservation performs reservation acceptance based on a resource use probability.

Hereinafter, a communication apparatus which accepts a reservation is referred to as an access point, and a communication apparatus which performs a reservation is referred to as a mobile station. The first exemplary embodiment of the present invention will be described as an example focusing on a wireless LAN system which includes an access point and a mobile station.

The resource use probability is obtained for each mobile station based on a source reservation state and a resource use state of a mobile station which is a communication apparatus which performs a resource reservation. Here, the resource use probability is obtained, for example, by dividing the number of times that a mobile station has used a resource before a reservation deadline by the number of times that a mobile station has requested a reservation.

FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a network according to the first exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The network of FIG. 1 includes access points 101 to 107, a mobile station 111, a network 121, an authentication server 131, and an external network 151. The access points 101 to 107 are access points which provide a resource management function. Hereinafter, an access point is exemplarily described which conforms to the IEEE 802.11e standard and the IEEE 802.11r standard which provides a high speed handover function.

The access points are connected to each other via a network specified, for example, in IEEE 802.3 and is also connected to the external network 151. For simplification of description, hereinafter, it is assumed that these access points belong to the same mobility domain.

Here, a mobility domain is a domain in which a high speed handover which conforms to IEEE 802.11r can be performed between access points belonging thereto. These access points may have a function of exchanging information of an access point which exists neighboring to itself according to a method specified in the IEEE 802.11k standard.

The mobile station 111 is a mobile station which has a wireless communication function and a function for reserving a communication resource to an access point in advance before a handover. Hereinafter, a mobile station is exemplarily described which has a wireless LAN function which conforms to the IEEE 802.11e standard and the IEEE 802.11r standard.

The authentication server 131 is a server for authenticating the mobile station 111 as a mobile station authorized to access a network of a mobility domain, for example, using a RADIUS protocol, when the mobile station 111 accesses the access points 101 to 107.

The external network 151 is a network which does not belong to the mobility domain 141.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a structure of the access points 101 to 107 according to the first exemplary embodiment of the present invention. Referring to FIG. 3, as an exemplary configuration of the access point, the access points 101 to 107 include an IEEE 802.3 PHY portion 301, an IEEE 802.3 MAC portion 302, an IEEE 802.3 network 303, an antenna 304, an IEEE 802.11 PHY portion 305, an IEEE 802.11 MAC portion 306, a bridge 307, an IEEE 802.11 PLME portion 308, an IEEE 802.11 MLME portion 309, and an SME portion 310.

The IEEE 802.3 PHY portion 301 is means for processing a PHY function specified in the IEEE 802.3 standard.

The IEEE 802.3 MAC portion 302 is means for processing a MAC function specified in the IEEE 802.3.

The IEEE 802.3 network 303 is a network specified in the IEEE 802.3 standard.

The antenna 304 is means for transmitting a radio signal modulated in the IEEE 802.11 PHY portion 305 or receiving a radio signal transmitted from other mobile stations 111.

The IEEE 802.11 PHY portion 305 is specified in, for example, IEEE 802.11g and has a function for modulating a frame sent from the IEEE 802.11 MAC portion 306 into a radio wave signal and transmitting it through the antenna 304, and a function for demodulating a radio wave signal received from the antenna 304 and transmitting it to the IEEE 802.11 MAC portion 306 as a receiving frame.

The IEEE 802.11 MAC portion 306 processes a function specified as the IEEE 802.11e specification and a function specified as IEEE 802.11r specification.

The bridge 307 investigates a destination address of a receiving frame transmitted from the IEEE 802.3 MAC portion 302, and transmits the frame to the IEEE 802.11 MAC portion 306 if a node indicated by the destination address is a mobile station which resides within a coverage area of the present access point. On the contrary, if a destination of a receiving frame received from the IEEE 802.11 MAC portion 306 is a node within the IEEE 802.3 network 303, the frame is transmitted to the IEEE 802.3 MAC portion 302.

The IEEE 802.11 PLME portion 308 is an entity for controlling the IEEE 802.11 PHY portion 305 and can process MLME_PLME_SAP and PLME_SAP specified in IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11e, and IEEE 802.11r.

The IEEE 802.11 MIME portion 309 is an entity for controlling the IEEE 802.11 MAC portion 306 according to an instruction of the SME portion 310.

Also, in addition to a function for processing MLME_SAP specified in IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11e and IEEE 802.11r, when an Authentication Confirm frame containing a request resource capacity is received, the IEEE 802.11 MLME portion 309 used in the first exemplary embodiment of the present invention has a function for notifying the number together with other parameters to the SME portion 310.

The SME portion 310 is an entity for managing the IEEE 802.11 PHY portion 305 and the IEEE 802.11 MAC portion 306 through the IEEE 802.11 PLME portion 308 and the IEEE 802.11 MLME portion 309. The SME portion 310 includes a resource reservation acceptance judging means 311, a resource management means 312, a resource management database 313, and a resource reservation/use history database 314.

When an Authentication Confirm frame is received from the mobile station 111, the resource reservation acceptance judging means 311 receives the information from the IEEE 802.11 MLME portion 309. A current resource use state and a resource reservation state which are recorded in the resource management database 313, a request resource capacity notified from the IEEE 802.11 MLME portion 309, and a resource use probability are obtained, wherein a resource use probability is computed by dividing the number of times that a mobile station has used a resource before a reservation deadline by the number of times that a mobile station has performed a resource reservation.

It is determined whether to accept a resource request or not based on the resource use probability. If a resource request is accepted, resource securing success is notified to the IEEE 802.11 MLME portion 309. At the same time, an MAC address of a mobile station which is a request source, a request resource capacity indicated by a mean data rate contained in the 802.11 AUTHENTICATION CONFIRM frame 203, and a deadline of a resource reservation are set in the resource management database 313. Also, a resource use state is set to “reserved”.

A request resource to be set is not limited to a mean data rate but may include a minimum data rate or a maximum data rate. On the contrary, if a resource request is not accepted, resource securing failure is issued to the IEEE 802.11 MLME portion 309.

If a use of a resource is notified from the IEEE 802.11 MLME portion 309, the resource management means 312 investigates an address of a transmitting source contained in a parameter of the primitive and investigates whether there is a resource reserved by the mobile station or not through the resource management database 313. If there exists a resource reserved by the mobile station which is a transmitting source and a reservation deadline does not lapse, a resource sate is changed to “in use”.

The resource management database 313 stores a resource management table, for example, shown in FIG. 4. An address of a requester, a request resource capacity, a resource use state, and a resource reservation deadline are recorded in the table. As a requester address, recorded is an address of a mobile station which is a communication apparatus for performing a resource reservation. As a resource use state, recorded is information indicating whether a mobile station of the user address is using or has reserved a resource or not. A resource reservation deadline is recorded for a resource whose use state is set to “reserved”.

In case of a first line of FIG. 4, in a resource requester whose address is STAl, a resource capacity is set to 64 kbps, a resource use state is set to “reserved”, a resource reservation deadline is set to Jan. 27, 2007 22:45:00.

The resource reservation/use history database 314 stores a resource reservation/use history table, for example, shown in FIG. 5. In the resource reservation/use history table, recorded are an address of a requester, the resource reservation frequency, and the use frequency. As the resource reservation frequency, recorded is the number of times that a resource reservation has been performed to the access point in the past. As the use frequency, recorded is the number of times that a mobile station reserved a resource and actually used the resource to perform a communication in the past.

A first line of FIG. 5 shows that a resource requester whose address is STA1 reserved a resource 10 times but actually used the resource to perform a communication 9 times.

Processing of when an access point judges acceptance of a resource reservation performed by a mobile station and processing of when a reserved resource is actually used and so information is updated will be described with reference to FIGS. 3 and 6 to 9.

FIG. 6 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of the resource reservation acceptance judging means 311 within the access points 101 to 107. By this operation, an access point judges acceptance of a resource reservation performed by a mobile station. It is investigated whether there is a resource reservation request from the IEEE 802.11 MLME 309 or not (step 101). If there is no request yet, processing returns to step 101, and it is on standby until a request is received. If there is a request, “PeerMACAddress” indicating an address of a mobile station which performs a resource reservation is substituted to a variable “addr” (step 102). Then, resource reservation/use history database probability acquiring processing is performed (step 103) to acquire a resource use probability which is computed by dividing the number of times that a mobile station used a resource before a reservation deadline by the number of times that a mobile station has performed a resource reservation. Resource reservation/use history database probability acquiring processing will be described later in detail.

The resource use probability is compared to a predetermined reservation acceptance threshold (step 104), and if the resource use probability is greater than the predetermined reservation acceptance threshold, it is notified that the resource is secured (step 105), whereas if the resource use probability is smaller than the predetermined reservation acceptance threshold, it is notified that the resource is not secured (step 106). After step S106, processing returns to step 101 to be on standby until there is a reservation request. Meanwhile, after step 105, information indicating that a reservation has been accepted is added to the resource management table (step 107). In this instance, a resource use state is set to “reserved”. Resource reservation/use history table updating processing (step 108) is performed, and then processing returns to step 101 to be on standby until there is a resource request. Resource reservation/use history table updating processing will be described later in detail.

FIG. 7 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of resource reservation/use history database probability acquisition processing.

First, initialization is performed by substituting zero (0) to a variable “probability” storing a resource use probability (step 201). One (1) is set to a variable “i” storing a processing line of the resource reservation/use history table (step 202). It is investigated whether a requester address of a line i of the resource reservation/use history table is identical to a variable “addr” or not (step 203). If identical, the resource reservation frequency of the line i of the resource reservation/use history table is substituted to a variable “num_reserved” storing a total sum of the number of times that a reservation is made (step 204). The use frequency of a processing line is substituted to a variable “num_invoked” storing a total sum of the number of times that a reservation is actually performed (step 205). A value obtained by dividing a value of a variable “num_invoked” by a value of a variable “num_reserved” is stored in a variable “probability” storing a resource use probability (step 206). After a probability computation is completed, processing returns to the first step.

Meanwhile, in step 203 described above, if a requester address of the line i of the resource reservation/use history table is not identical to a variable “addr”, it is investigated whether the line i is the last line of the resource reservation/use history table or not (step 207). If it is the last line, processing returns to the first step, whereas if it is not the last line, one (1) is added to a variable “i” (step 208), and processing proceeds to step 203.

FIG. 8 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of resource reservation/use history table updating processing. By this processing, contents of the resource reservation frequency in the resource reservation/use history table are updated.

First, “1” which indicates a first line is set to a variable “i” representing a table line processed in the resource reservation/use history table (step 301). It is investigated whether a requester address of a line i of the resource reservation/use history table is identical to a value of a variable “addr” (step 302). If identical, one (1) is added to the resource reservation frequency of the line i of the resource reservation/use history table (step 303), and then processing proceeds to the step that calls this processing.

Meanwhile, if the requester address of the line i of the resource reservation/use history table is not identical to a variable “addr”, it is investigated whether the line i is the last line of the resource reservation/use history table or not (step 304). If it is the last line, processing returns to the step that calls this processing, whereas if it is not the last line, one (1) is added to the variable “i” (step 305), and processing proceeds to step 302.

As described above, the access point judges whether to accept a resource reservation performed by the mobile station or not based on the resource use probability. The resource use probability is obtained by dividing the number of times that a mobile station uses a resource before a reservation deadline by the number of times that a mobile station performs a resource reservation, and it is specified in the IEEE 802.11r standard that a reservation content can be overwritten. In this instance, the overwriting frequency may or may not be contained in the number of times that a resource reservation is performed.

FIG. 9 is a flowchart illustrating an operation of the resource management means 312. By this processing, a content of the use frequency in the resource reservation/use history table is updated when a resource reserved is actually used.

First, it is checked whether a use of a resource is notified from the IEEE 802.11 MLME 309 or not (step 401). If not notified, processing returns to step 401 to be on standby until notified. If notified, “PeerSTAAddress” indicating an address of a mobile station which has performed a resource reservation is substituted to a variable “addr” (step 402). A variable “i” indicating a processed line of the resource management table is initialized to one (1) (step 403). It is investigated whether a requester address of a line i of the resource management table is identical to “addr” or not (step 404). If identical, a state of the line i of the resource management table is changed to “in use” (step 405). In order to update the resource reservation/use history table, a variable “j” is initialized to one (1) (step 406), and processing proceeds to step 409.

However, if the address of the resource requester is determined as different from “addr” in step 404, it is investigated whether the line i is the last line of the resource management table or not (step 407). If it is the last line, a line containing a requester address is added to the resource management table (step 413), and processing proceeds to step 406. If it is not the last line, one (1) is added to a variable “i”, and then processing returns to step 404 (step 408).




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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20090135776 A1
Publish Date
05/28/2009
Document #
12276859
File Date
11/24/2008
USPTO Class
370329
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
04W28/26
Drawings
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